When the angry white mob poured out of the bar on San Francisco's Geary Street and surrounded an innocent black man, Kevin Shea was the only one who tried to stop them. He failed, and now, thanks to a deceptive news photo taken during the melee, he is wanted for the murder himself-and the real culprits have threatened his life if he says a word.
As riots rage and politicians posture, Lieutenant Abe Glitsky finds himself under pressure to bring Shea in at all costs. And as respect for the law crumbles-even among those sworn to uphold it-true justice is the only thing that can prevent the death of another innocent man.
Politics and justice mix like oil and water after racial tensions erupt into violence in this taut and engrossing San Francisco-set thriller. Lescroart (The 13th Juror) wastes no time setting up his story. In the first few, galvanizing pages, an African American lawyer is lynched by a mob of drunk Irish Americans incensed at the murder of one of their friends by a black career criminal. Alone in trying to save the doomed lawyer is Keven Shea, a 28-year-old grad student. But when a photograph showing him trying to hand the lawyer a knife to cut loose the noose is interpreted as an attempted stabbing, Shea, who goes on the lam, becomes the target of a citywide manhunt. He also becomes San Francisco's chief symbol of racial unrest as politicians ranging from the city's district attorney to a U.S. senator pursue their personal interest in declaring him guilty; only Lt. Abe Glitsky, head of the city's homicide detail, seems to be looking at the case objectively. Meanwhile, Shea turns for help to his girlfriend and, in one of the author's few nods toward cliche, to a down-and-out lawyer pal. Throughout, Lescroart keeps a sharp eye on both the big picture and the individual views of a multitude of well-drawn characters. By showing the political maneuvering that can accompany an outbreak of violence, he offers an unusually thoughtful, exciting thriller that evinces insight into incidents and attitudes that seem all too real. 125,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club featured alternates; author tour.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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February 06, 2006
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